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Tri Synergy: An Alternative to Traditional Publishing posted 3/22 at 1:18:20 PM PST by Mason McCuskey

Today I spent a little time talking to Tamra Nestler, President and CEO of Tri Synergy, a company providing a turnkey solution for self-publishing. Tri Synergy essentially flips the tradtional developer/publisher relationship completely over. In the tradtional model, the publisher funds development, then decides how (or even if) the game will be released. In Tri Synergy's model, the developer is in control. If a developer can complete a game using their own money, they can take it to Tri Synergy for publication, and for a nominal fee (roughly the same percentage as some publishers give developers), they manage all publisher functions. This includes cradle to grave inventory management, sales presentations, distribution, and in store marketing.

As an independent developer, I'm very interested in Tri Synergy. I, like many other game developers, am fed up with the traditional publishing model, and I'm looking all over the place to find alternatives. Unfortunately, this usually means one of the following:

  1. Distributing online, as essentially shareware.
  2. Becoming your own publisher, and dealing with the minutia of storing boxes, trying to establish distributor relationships, etc.

Typically option 1 doesn't make any real money, and option 2 often causes you to lose money. When you try to distrubute online, your biggest problem is exposure. On the other hand, becoming your own publisher presents a whole different set of challenges: trying to get your game picked up by a distributor, managing inventory (got a big garage?), and so on.

Tri Synergy sounds like a great solution to this dilema, for a developer who has a strong title (completely finished) and a small amount of money they can dedicate to marketing and PR for their game. Tri Synergy's staff is well-equipped to get your game into retail channels - the CEO worked as a buyer for a couple of major computer software retail outlets, and some of the senior staff has experience being on the publisher side of the world. Tri Synergy has been around for roughly six years, and has provided publishing services to games like previous IGF winner Shattered Galaxy, Anarchy Online, and The Longest Journey. If you've got a game that can stand in that same company, you need to check out what Tri Synergy has to offer.

Tri Synergy Web Site

Mason McCuskey
Spin Studios